I will not be quitting my day job and turning my living room into a sewing shop. It sure beat spending forty bucks on a dress she'll only wear a couple of times. In this case, it didn't cost me anything to make it, but usually making something yourself, especially clothing, is not the more economical way to go.
I have learned that if you're going to put your time and energy into making something (especially something knit or crocheted), it is worth the extra cash to buy the best quality you can afford. It's not worth putting that much effort into something that is going to wear poorly or fade. But you have to use your judgement. Take this blanket that's being done over at Purlbee (I LOVE this site!)- if you use the yarn they are calling for, it would cost you over a hundred dollars to make! It's cute, but not that cute. I'm sure Target sells a suitable alternative. (For the blanket I mean. Target doesn't sell yarn.)
That's why I hate it when people complain about the prices in handmade boutiques or for handmade items. If you don't want to spend it, DON"T! But trust me, they aren't getting rich on their wares. Even a well crafted scrapbook page costs more to make than a person would ever be able to sell it for by the time you add up the cost of paper, stickers, die cuts, and their TIME! I get asked a lot (by friends and family) about going into business or starting a website. Some people do very well on Etsy, which I think is totally awesome, but they are also targeting those who are involved in a craft and are willing to spend what the item is worth. For me, crafting from home is not a business, it's a hobby! For now anyway. But starting an Etsy shop is getting pretty tempting. Only so I can have the excuse of "but honey, it's for a sample for the shop." Am I sneaky or what?